Shell has successfully started up the ethylene cracker at its Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) project in Singapore, producing on-specification ethylene on Monday.
The 100% Shell-owned ethylene cracker complex (ECC) has a capacity of 800,000 tonnes of ethylene per annum, as well as 450,000 tonnes of propylene and 230,000 tonnes of benzene. These olefins and aromatics products are petrochemical "building blocks" that will be used primarily for downstream chemical plants located on Jurong Island, including the Shell mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant. The availability of these additional feedstock will support the growth and diversification of Singapore's chemicals cluster.
Ben van Beurden, Executive Vice President for Shell Chemicals, said: "The completion of the SEPC will create Shell's biggest, fully integrated refinery and petrochemicals hub, bringing economic and efficiency benefits in terms of operations, logistics and feedstock. The world-class cracker is a shining example of this in practice -- it is strategically located adjacent to the Shell Pulau Bukom Refinery, which has been modified to enable it to supply the cracker with feedstock."
The ECC, like the MEG plant on Jurong Island, uses leading Shell technologies. It has options built in for feedstock flexibility, which enable it to process various types of feedstock, ranging from liquefied petroleum gas to heavy liquid hydrocarbon, such as hydrowax. This flexibility can help to maximize returns as economics shift between hydrocarbon streams, and importantly, it will provide greater security of supply for our customers.
The SEPC is Shell's largest investment in Singapore and supports the Shell Group's strategy to maintain a leading position in the Asian petrochemicals market. It also includes a MEG plant -- successfully opened in December 2009 -- and a butadiene extraction unit that is slated to come on-stream over the next few months.